The newspaper headline is accurate until you read closer. The Governor is basically saying the tribe will have a casino…when it gets land into trust. But it won’t be one of the states 3 commercial licenses . To the lawmakers, who do not want us to have a special commercial license, it tells them not to worry.
What Rep. Cabral does not understand is that our lack of land into trust, will not delay the state’s commercial casino process. Just that simple. The state will move forward without including the set aside commercial license for the tribe because it can. And if the tribe ever gets it’s land into trust, the tribe automatically builds the casino on its sovereign land without state sanction.
But remember, LIT is almost a dream now and valuable time slipped away under the deceptive leadership of Cedric Cromwell. It was years before he, Aaron, Mark or any of them understood that they should have pursued the LIT effort before the Congress turned against Indian Gaming. Now the state Legislature is just as anti Indian gaming ” set aside” and threatens to derail the bill. The Governor certainly does not want to do that dance. And a weak rudderless tribe that has been involved in two casino boondoggles, Fall River and Raynham..can’t be very helpful.
Cedric tried to make Genting think he’s in the state gaming deal by pontificating in committee hearings on Beacon Hill and with the Raynham publicity stunt. Then he makes speeches before the BIA ( that has about as much respect for us of late as, well, God knows what). Genting wanted Cedric to meet with the Governor to strike a deal. Who Duval Patrick ? Can’t you just see that? The last thing Genting wants is for us to have a sovereignty casino because it benefits us…not them.
Cedric threatened the state, and the Governor and waved sovereignty at them like a weapon. It was a wet noodle. Our sovereignty is elusive. But for confused tribal members…it kept hopes of a casino alive. His false double talk is a disgrace to our ancestors and the tribal members who fought for decades to get the Mashpee recognized. Our people are struggling. We have people in charge whose self interest is overwhelming.
Whenever Cedric’s foolishness backfires he starts talking about Hybrids and swears the tribe is in the state commercial gaming bill.
We could be in the bill…but as a kind of afterthought. It would state the obvious….tribal casino with LIT, which frees the state to give licenses to someone else. Cedric sounds ridiculous thanking the governor and planning for a Compact without LIT. Part of the smoke and mirrors. But it won’t fool Genting.
Guess who already has the process 90% complete and shovel ready? The original investors with 539 acres of property that is part of our LIT package in Middleboro. Wow.
Governor backs Mashpee tribe casino
As Gov. Deval Patrick prepares a plan for three potential casinos in the state, he believes any future gambling legislation needs to account for a Mashpee Wampanoag-run gaming operation.
Patrick took a stand on the tribe’s role in an expansion of gambling in response to a letter this week from five Southeastern Massachusetts legislators to Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, and the governor. In the letter, the lawmakers urged the governor not to give preference to a Native American tribe in obtaining a casino license in Southeastern Massachusetts.
On Friday, a key member of Patrick’s administration wrote back to the lawmakers, stating that if the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is able to resolve its land-in-trust issue with federal authorities, then the tribe will be legally entitled to have a casino on tribal lands.
“We believe it is important that any gaming legislation account for and address this tribal gaming reality,” wrote Gregory Bialecki, state secretary of Housing and Economic Development Secretary.
Earlier this month, state Rep. Antonio Cabral, D-New Bedford, and four other representatives from Bristol County told lawmakers that they were worried about the time it will take for the Mashpee Wampanoag to go through the legal wrangling necessary to place tribal land in federal trust for a casino.
To place land in federal trust, the tribe must address a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court ruling known as the Carcieri decision that restricted the ability of the U.S. Department of the Interior to take land into federal trust for tribes recognized after 1934.
The Mashpee Wampanoag received federal recognition in 2007.
“Providing a Native American preference for obtaining a casino license would incur significant risk for the Commonweath,” the lawmakers’ letter states.
“This decision would likely entangle that process in years of litigation.”
“I want to see a casino built,” Cabral said Friday night in a phone interview with the Times. “We need to create revenue and jobs.”
State lawmakers will be taking up the topic of expanded gaming laws next month.
Last year, lawmakers backed a proposal to allow three resort casinos and two slot parlors at state racetracks. Patrick effectively killed that plan when he rejected the slot parlors, citing “no-bid contracts” for track owners. The gambling legislation would have divided the state into three regions and permitted one casino in each. The Southeastern Region would have included Bristol and Barnstable counties.
New proposals that will be debated next month will probably stick with the three-region approach, according to Bialecki’s letter.
Setting aside three areas “is the best way to maintain valuable market capacity and maximize short- and long-term job creation and economic development opportunities for the entire Commonwealth,” Bialecki wrote.
He went on to write that the Mashpee Wampanoag “will be legally entitled to conduct gaming on their tribal lands upon successful resolution of their land-in-trust application with the federal government.”
In an email message to the Times on Friday night, Cedric Cromwell, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council chairman, thanked the Patrick administration for recognizing the tribe’s “inevitable right.”
“We appreciate the acknowledgment from Secretary Bialecki and Governor Patrick that the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has the inevitable right to conduct gaming in our ancestral homeland of southeastern Massachusetts,” Cromwell wrote in the email.
“We look forward to negotiating a compact with the governor as soon as possible that will guarantee revenues to the Commonwealth, and to breaking ground on a destination resort casino that will bring much-needed jobs to southeastern Massachusetts.”
But Cabral said the region faces “a cruel irony” because the Legislature could approve casino gambling, then face a long wait for the federal government to take Mashpee Wampanoag land into federal trust for a casino.